Watch: Out Diver Tom Daley Says He's 'Incredibly Proud To Be Gay' and an Olympic Gold Medalist

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday July 27, 2021
Originally published on July 26, 2021

Tom Daley, the British diver and husband of out American screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, offered inspiring words to the world's LGBTQ youth after winning his Olympic gold medal, declaring, "I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion."

Daley offered his comments to reporters after he and his diving partner, Matty Lee, took the gold medal July 26 in the men's synchronized 10-meter platform, British LGBTQ news site Pink News reported.

"While he stood on the winners' podium, an emotional Daley could be seen shedding a few tears as he was awarded his hard-earned medal alongside Lee," the site described.

Speaking to the press, Daley recalled his sense of otherness and alienation as a younger man growing up gay, recalling a period in which he felt "alone, and different, and didn't fit in," recounting: "I thought that I was never going to be anything or achieve anything because of who I was."

But now, sporting his gold medal, Daley said, "I hope that any young LGBT+ person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone and that you can achieve anything."

The out athlete added: "There is a whole lot of your chosen family out here ready to support you."

That's certainly the case at this year's Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, as Daley noted in his remarks, "There are more openly, out LGBT athletes at this Olympic Games than any other Olympic Games previously" — at least 131, Pink News noted.

The Guardian also recounted that "Daley and Lee had produced a stunning performance," taking "the gold medal by one point ahead of the supercharged Chinese pair Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen."

It was a long journey to the gold, but Daley had an early start; Wikipedia notes that, in his first Olympics in Beijing in 2008, Daley "was Britain's youngest competitor, age 14, and the youngest from any nation to participate in a final."

Daley took the bronze in individual competition in the 2012 Olympics, and then took the bronze for the men's synchronized 10-meter platform with Daniel Goodfellow. The Guardian recalled this as "a period that has coincided with marriage to the film producer Dustin Lance Black and the birth of their son, Robbie."

Daley went on to say how meaningful it was that his son had been able to see him "become Olympic champion, albeit on TV," just as Black had predicted would happen after he took the bronze in Rio.

Watch Daley's remarks, embedded in the tweet below:

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.